By Dina Reid, Camp & Retreat Ministries
After the Covid pause of last summer, it has been so great to fill our camps with the laughter of children and smiley, happy faces! We have had an action-packed, fun-filled summer at Potosi Pines and Mingus Mountain Camps! Campers have played, worshipped, shot archery, hiked, made crafts, enjoyed these beautiful outdoor spaces, and best of all, been able to spend time with each other and our camp staff, face to face.
We did experience some unexpected events but what would summer camp be without the unexpected?! During Potosi Pines’ first camp of the season, Tracey Brown, Camp Director, received notice from the Fire Service that it was necessary to evacuate the camp immediately due to a nearby wildfire. Campers, staff, and Rocky (camp cat) left in the midst of dinner, quickly making it safely down the mountain. Thankfully, the fire remained at a distance, the evacuation was lifted a few days later, and we were able to welcome the next session of campers as scheduled.
With the precautionary closure of Prescott National Forest, there was some concern that Mingus Mountain Camp would also be required to close. We were relieved to receive permission from the Forest Service to continue to operate camp. Because of the Forest Service Road closure, it was necessary to rethink camper check-in and pick-up procedures. Under the direction of Cat Holbert, Executive Director, camper families were immediately notified of the forest and road closure as well as the updated camp arrival procedures, putting parents and guardians’ minds at ease.
The camps have followed Covid protocols and procedures based on guidelines by the CDC, ACA (American Camping Association), and Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. Both camps require proof of vaccination or negative Covid test results. At check-in, our camps have offered free Covid tests, with many families opting for this option. We are proud of our campers and staff for maintaining safe camp environments.
The camp theme this summer is, “This is our Prayer”. At Potosi Pines, campers are learning to pray through music, art, journals, prayer beads, the prayer labyrinth, and prayer partners. Each summer the campers work on service projects throughout the camp. This year, Senior High campers built a gazebo at the prayer labyrinth. Junior High campers added new solar light poles on the path to the labyrinth, and Elementary campers painted the pavers under the new gazebo. Jr and Sr High Adventure campers hiked and camped in the mountains surrounding Potosi, learned to fish in a nearby pond, and had a fish fry for dinner. Other summer highlights have included a view of the night skies led by local astronomers, tie-dying, hiking Twin Peaks, skits, crafts, and games.
At Mingus Mountain, UMC clergy have served as the camp’s Spiritual Directors, leading worship, campfires, and small group Bible studies. As service projects, Senior High campers rebuilt the Nurse’s Cabin wheelchair ramp, Junior High campers rebuilt the outdoor chapel’s cross and altar, and Elementary campers tied blankets for the animal shelter. Senior High Adventure campers went tubing, kayaking, tent camping, and enjoyed the natural beauty of the areas surrounding the camp. Senior High Adventures in Mission campers served at Prescott Valley UMC and the Good Samaritan Society, went kayaking, and spent a day at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course. Campers also took part in camp-wide Olympic games, an all-camp birthday celebration, climbed the rock wall, practiced their skills on the challenge course and ziplines, and relaxed in the new hammock village.
We are so thankful for those who donated to the Green Time, Not Screen Time scholarship fundraiser in April! Your generous donations made it possible for us to provide camp opportunities to many children and youth in our communities. Camp families were joyful and relieved to receive the scholarship funds. Your generosity made a difference in many lives. Thank you!
DSC Family Camp at Mingus Mountain – October 15-17, 2021. Bring your family to camp to enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Activities include hiking, challenge course and ziplines, archery, Bible studies, outdoor worship, campfires, crafts, a hayride, and time to relax. Enjoy home-cooked meals and comfortable accommodations during a weekend away!
DSC Dad & Me Camp at Mingus Mountain – October 22-24, 2021. This is a great opportunity for dads and grandfathers to spend time with their kids and grandkids in the great outdoors! Make memories with your loved ones while enjoying all that camp has to offer.
Details and registration for both events will be available soon!
Questions? Contract Dina Reid.
We hope to see you at Mingus Mountain and Potosi Pines Camps!
To receive the latest camp news, activity ideas, prayers and more, subscribe to our camp newsletters! To subscribe to the Mingus Mountain Camp newsletter, click here and to subscribe to the Potosi Pines Camp newsletter, click here.